Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I wasn't racist, but I am now....

I consider myself to be a fair person, and am against discrimination of all sorts. My dictionary defines this as 'to single out for special favour or disfavour; to distinguish between'.

Our government has made great strides into promoting equal opportunities for all.

The problem is that some people or groups will take advantage of what they can gain from a situation. It is next to impossible to make a case that this is happening, and to change policy to stop it.

For example, if I receive poor service from a black employee of a company I feel reluctant to complain or make a fuss about this person for fear it will construed racist. I am not. I just expect to be able to contact a company providing services in the UK, be able to talk them in my normal language, and be understood and provided with a good standard of service. When a customer service employee is trying to sell me something I don't need, and is unable to speak good enough english to explain the difference to me of two products I, like most people, may get annoyed.

Consider the very public case in the London Metropolitan Police Service where a senior commander Mr Ghaffur made allegations against Sir Ian Blair that he was passed over for promotion because of his ethnicity. It was obvious why he was not promoted from the way he conducted himself in public. Another example, I went into my local Spar and asked the muslim cashier if they had bacon because I could not find it. He took offence!

This sets a precedent. Foreign people with poor english, or that are not suitable for a job are promoted for two reasons. One so the interviewer is not accused of racism, and two so a company can brag about being an equal opportunity employer.

Why am I not able to ask a company to speak to an english representative? Our public services go to great expense translating all their information packs to every language. Why are foreigners allowed to request that they are seen by helpers of a similar religion or origin, but I am racist for asking to speak to someone who properly speaks the language of my home country at home?

You try doing this - and you will be the one on the end of the discrimination! This is so ridiculous and is enough to turn anyone racist and make you feel like discriminating against foreigners in the future! It is intolerable to be forced to accept substandard service in my own country in the name of racial equality!

These people have chosen to live in our country, there should be an implicit expectation on them to work to fit in, and to make an extra effort to get on with the 'locals'. To be honest I believe most do. The ones that make no effort and expect us to accommodate them DO need someone to complain about them. Not for their skin colour but for being unable to do their job.

BTW: I have some good friends from various ethnic backgrounds, and am more than happy to accept services from anyone that can do their job to the standard I expect.